Embracing omnichannel marketing in B2B manufacturing

Omnichannel is a buzzword that has now caught up with B2C businesses such as FMCG, durable goods, automobile, fashion retail. But now manufacturing companies playing in the B2B space need to adopt this method to ensure a more wholesome digital experience for its customers.

They have to consider multiple touch-points such as their website, social media, industry portals, distributor channels (SMS, social media) to make the purchasing process seamless, quick and easy. Further, these different channels and touchpoints should be able to work together, so that the brand is consistently present and helpful across every platform.

Placing your messages at various touch points where your target audience is, will pay off big time.

In fact, according to McKinsey, companies that consistently put out key messages at various stages of the buying journey are more likely to convert resistant purchasers. This equates to a 20% boost in leads, a 10% increase in concluded transactions, and as much as a 20% increase in the time between qualifying a lead and completing a contract.

Omnichannel is digital first

Some B2B companies use obsolete technology or lack a strong digital presence and this hampers their marketing. Going digital is not just an option for B2B manufacturers, but is now a business imperative and crucial to survival.

Information at the fingertips

Customers demand digital product data and an eCatalog that can be viewed on any device – easy information that is available at the fingertips whenever and wherever they want it. To remain competitive, your company must provide the client experience that the customers desire. You have to account for 3D visualizations and exploded views to make the engagement exciting while also making this easily accessible. Should customers need more information, they should also be able to connect with a sales representative with ease.

Omnichannel will force marketers to think of a holistic product discovery platform

The concept behind omni-channel marketing is simple: give your existing and prospective consumers with a comprehensive and consistent product discovery and selection experience across different sales channels. Each channel must support the same experience, from viewing product specifications to making
a purchase online or from your distributor/dealer.

All B2B buyers are B2C customers

OEM businesses are headed in the same direction as B2C businesses. According to several surveys, B2B buyers are constantly comparing their experience with clients to their B2C experience, such as shopping on Amazon. And 65% of them have been reported to have been unhappy with their buying experience. It is important that manufacturing companies make their sales process simpler, more convenient, at par with consumer-grade customer experience. This is especially true for those companies that export and are looking for a global reach rather than a local customer base.

Omnichannel strives to deliver easier buying experiences

As per a McKinsey report, once customers are set on making a purchase, they want to do it fast. One-click purchases or shortcuts for repeat orders (even for large capital purchases) can speed up the process tremendously. Speed is vital in repurchase and post-purchase troubleshooting. Four times as many B2B buyers would buy directly from suppliers’ websites if that option were available (and fast). They are especially keen on it for repeat purchases.

Omnichannel is worth the effort

While adopting omnichannel may initially appear daunting for B2B manufacturers, the benefits are undeniable. Omnichannel is a big investment that necessitates extensive customer research. However, customers will benefit from a more enjoyable, personal experience and that there, lies the fruits of your labor.

Rajat Gupta is general manager, Marketing & Communications, Goldi Solar

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